Prematurity is a serious public health concern currently affecting 1 in 9 infants in the United States. Occupational therapists and Physical Therapists serve a crucial role in this setting to assist parents in handling techniques, calming strategies, general developmental care and offer parent education, with a ubiquitous goal of promoting the best possible outcome. Given their strong educational foundation in Neuro development and neonatal care, OT and PT’s are uniquely qualified to assume this role, however but many feel ill-equipped about venturing into such a high-risk setting. This 2-hour is designed to ameliorate those concerns by offering a very thorough perspective of how to address all the multifaceted confounding factors in the NICU. Therapists will not only gain an understanding of the medical complexities and neurodevelopment, but also understand the interplay between nurture, nature, and the premature sensory system. The aim of this course is to provide a foundation of knowledge for therapists who may be interested in exploring the role of OT in the NICU.
1. Recognize the sensory / developmental differences in pre-term infants.
2. Identify all 7 neuroprotective developmental care areas in the NICU.
3. Locate at least 2 manage pain/ stress strategies in the NICU
4. Recognize components of the Synactive Theory.
5. Identify 5 common positioning strategies/ considerations in the NICU.
6. Locate at least three evidence- based therapeutic interventions for NICU patients.
Target Audience: Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, SLP’s
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BIBLIOGRAPHY/REFERENCES (required for CEU application):
A list of 5 written works/references (i.e. textbooks, articles from professional journals or other sources), published within the last 5 years that support the content presented in this course/program.
For textbooks, include the title, author(s), date of publication, and name/location of the publisher. For journal articles, include the title of the article, author(s), name and volume of the journal, year of publication and page numbers of the article. Please list at least 5 references in this box (space will expand to accommodate text):
1. Pineda, R., Prince, D., Reynolds, J.,Grabill, M. et al. (2020). Preterm infant feeding
performance at term equivalent age differs from that of full- term infants. Journal of
2. Santos, J., Pearce, S.E., Stroustrup, A. (2015). Impact of hospital-based
environmental exposures on neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm infants. Curt
3. Craig, J, W., Smith, C., R. (2019). Risk-adjusted/neuroprotective care services in
the NICU: the elemental role of the neonatal therapist (OT, PT, SLP).
4. American Occupational Therapy Association. (2017). The practice of occupational
therapy in feeding, eating, and swallowing. American Journal of Occupational
Therapy, 71(Suppl. 2), 7112410015. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2017.716S04
5. Ettenberger, M., Ardila, Y., M. (2018). Music therapy song writing with mothers of
preterm babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) – A mixed-methods pilot
study. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 58, 42-52.